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HRW: Indian Military Aid to Burma Could Be Used Against Civilians


New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch has accused India of offering military aid to Burma that could be used against Burmese civilians as the army fights ethnic insurgents.

In a statement released today, the group says India's air force chief, Marshal S.P. Tyagi, offered a multimillion dollar aid package to Burma's military rulers during a visit to Burma last month.

Published reports say Tyagi proposed strengthening Burma's air force by providing it with combat helicopters and upgrading Burmese fighter planes with the latest technology.

Human Rights Watch's Asia director Brad Adams says it is "shocking" that India would offer aid to a Burmese regime that is likely to use new weapons against its civilian population.

Burma's military has been engaged in heavy fighting against ethnic Karen rebels in northern Burma since February this year.

Human Rights Watch says Burma's military has a record of taking revenge on civilians for supporting ethnic insurgents.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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